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Ole Miss Football Practice Report: Time to Compete

Ole Miss Football Practice Report: Time to Compete

OXFORD, Miss. – (Release) The evolution of spring practice continues for Ole Miss football as Lane Kiffin and his coaching staff have been working through scheme installation and demanding a lot along the way out of a Rebel squad that has College Football Playoff aspirations.

Kiffin, along with defensive back Trey Amos and receiver Cayden Lee, met with the media Tuesday to talk install and the latest from the practice fields outside of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

“Been pleased with our guys’ focus,” Kiffin said. “We’ve put a lot on them on install with a veteran team, from the standpoint of an older team but not all of them have been here. There’s a lot of competition. We signed a lot of portal players, and that creates competition in spots. Our players understand our goal is to be really good. A lot of times, just like in the NFL, that means bringing people in, even if that makes some people uncomfortable.”

STRENGTH IN THE SECONDARY

Trey Amos spent the first three years of his career at Lafayette before joining Nick Saban at Alabama last year. The New Iberia, Louisiana, native broke up five passes for the Crimson Tide last season, including two in the SEC Championship game against Georgia and one in the College Football Playoff Semifinal against eventual national champion Michigan. However, when Saban left at season’s end, it left him looking for a new destination.

“I started to think where I would best fit and be more comfortable. I ended up choosing Ole Miss. It was pretty much the same system but simpler, so I can really play fast and try to make plays,” Amos said. “They mostly want me to come and play press-man coverage. That’s my strength. I can still work on my zone, still a lot I want to improve and learn.”

Amos is the fourth-highest rated player in Ole Miss’ top-ranked transfer class, according to 247Sports, behind only Walter NolenPrincely Umanmielen and Antwane Wells Jr. Kiffin is excited to see what he can do in Pete Golding‘s defense.

“We had looked at him before and really thought he was a special, unique player,” Kiffin said of Amos. “I think he’s a really good player. Phenomenal work ethic. Phenomenal culture guy.”

WHAT’S NEW IN YEAR 2

It didn’t take long for Cayden Lee to flash his talent as a freshman. His first career reception came in the 2024 season opener against Mercer and went 34 yards for a touchdown. His second career reception in November against ULM went 51 yards, also for a touchdown. The Kennesaw, Georgia, native then capped his freshman year, hauling in three passes while making his first career start in the Peach Bowl win over Penn State.

“Last year was a great season. Great to come in as a freshman and just gel with the guys. But year two, I’m looking to play more of a role in the team,” Lee said. “Find my position, whether that’s the slot or the outside. I’m moving back and forth from slot and outside right now to see how I can help the team the best.”

Lee will do so under new leadership this season. Derrick Nix, after 16 seasons at Ole Miss, including the last four leading the receivers room, left in the offseason. Kiffin added McDonald to take over the room and lead the Rebel passing game, and so far Lee feels like he’s flourishing in the new situation.

“I love Coach McDonald,” Lee said. “I had a great relationship with Coach Nix. Coach McDonald came in. We gelled right way. Went out to eat, got some sushi, just talked some ball. He’s a great coach. He’s put a lot of people in the NFL. He has a great record, so I’m excited to work with him.”

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.

About The Author

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn's love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.

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